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As Colorado Budget Cuts Hospital Funds, Some Legislators Hope to Change Funding Structures

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Colorado State Senator Don Coram, who represents southwestern Colorado, voted yes on the 2017 budget even though it makes significant cuts to state hospital funding. But Coram says he hopes to maintain funding for rural hospitals by supporting a separate bill introduced in the Senate on Tuesday. Senate Bill 267 would restructure a fee hospitals pay to help fund healthcare for low-income patients. KSJD's Austin Cope and Bente Birkeland talked more about the what's behind measure.

Austin Cope is a former Morning Edition host for KSJD and now produces work on a freelance basis for the station. He grew up in Cortez and hosted a show on KSJD when he was 10 years old. After graduating from Montezuma-Cortez High School in 2010, he lived in Belgium, Ohio, Spain, northern Wyoming, and Himachal Pradesh, India before returning to the Cortez area. He has a degree in Politics from Oberlin College in Ohio.
Bente Birkeland has been reporting on state legislative issues for KUNC and Rocky Mountain Community Radio since 2006. Originally, from Minnesota, Bente likes to hike and ski in her spare time. She keeps track of state politics throughout the year but is especially busy during the annual legislative session from January through early May.
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